Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smiles and tears

It's always a mixture, isn't it?  Life is never simple, nor is it dull.  There are pleasures that bring the smiles, and there are the heartaches that cause the pain and the tears.  I guess that's just the way it is.  On this planet anyway.  I do look forward to the day when we're living in heaven, on the new earth, where there will be no more sadness and no more tears.  I look forward to seeing my mom and dad, my grandma, and the grandparents I was never fortunate enough to meet.  And so many friends, relatives and animals whom I have loved dearly.  Yes, I'm looking forward to that...very much. 

But, until goes on.  I see that once again, I have been remiss in posting with any regularity on my blog.  The days just seem to fly by, and I so easily lose track of the days.  One after the other, they pass so quickly.  This has been a lovely summer to me.  I've heard so many people complain about our weather, the lack of sunshine and hot temperatures so common to so many other summers.  But I've been enjoying our sunny, cooler than usual weather.  Mostly, the days have been pleasant and warm, some grey and some rain.  I can appreciate that.  Especially when I watch the news and see what's been going on weather-wise in the majority of the country elsewhere.  Temperatures in the hundreds, massive flooding, tornadoes and such?  We are truly blessed here in the pacific northwest.  We complain and we have absolutely no reason to do so.  So, I for one, am very, very thankful for our summer.  I just hope it sticks around for a good, long while. 
Remember this girl?  This is our old gal..."Frosted Siri L"  She turned 29 years young on January 31, 2011
and this is our grandson David, who's 10 years old and loves Siri madly...

He'd spend all day long in the barn or hanging out with her in the pasture if he was able.  Well, Dave came out and spent 10 days with us when we took some vacation time the end of June and the first part of July.  We took a bunch of pictures of him and Siri spending time with each other.  I'm so thankful that we got that time and those pictures, because our sweet old girl passed away on July 13, 2011.  She was in good spirits when I turned her loose in the apple orchard pasture with the rest of the horses, and about 2 hours later, we had to have her euthanized for an apparent fatty lypoma that strangulated her small intestine.  It was intensely painful  and unbelievably fast.  Here one moment, and gone the next.  It certainly took us by surprise, and left us with no alternative than to say good-bye to our dear friend.  We buried her near the apple tree the following day, along with so many other animal friends whom we've loved over the years.  I'm so very thankful we were home and able to be with her when she needed us the thankful for that.  We're going to miss her, and her sassy attitude, and her worrisome nature over her herdmates.  She was a treasure and we loved her.  It was especially touching to see how each one of the horses personally said their good-byes to her.  And some people don't believe that animals love one another and grieve over the loss of herdmates.  I'm here to tell you that they do. 

R.I.P. "Frosted Siri L"  1/31/82 - 7/13/11  Thanks for the memories!!  It's been a pleasure and a blessing spending time with you!! 

If you ever get the chance to read a little book titled the "Ghost Wind Stallion" , I'd recommend it highly.  I forget who the author is, but it's narrated by an old Nez Perce Indian named George Long Grass.  The story is about Siri's ancestors and a particular line of horses that were highly regarded by the Nez Perce Tribe.  I read it, quite by accident, and was startled to discover that I was looking at Siri's lineage exactly duplicated.  She had noble ancestry.

In more recent events, we attended the Central Oregon Wild Horse Expo at the Brasada Ranch last weekend near Prineville, Oregon.  What beautiful country and what a gorgeous ranch!  I'd move there in a New York minute!!  It's considered high desert with beautiful mountain ranges all around.  You can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, The 3 Sisters, Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and Black Butte from beautifully green, lush pastures brimming with beef cattle and beautiful horses.  My kind of country.  Anyway, there was a wild horse adoption, vendors, demonstration of all kinds, a competitve trail ride, a horse show for wild bred Mustangs and clinics going on.  Very entertaining!  We had a blast!

Remember this guy??

This is "Eagle" - the Mustang that I saw a picture of on a friend's Facebook page over a year ago.  I included him in a blog posting quite a while back.  I admitted that I was enamored of him, and quite honestly have never been able to get him out of my mind completely since then. 

Well...I found out that Kate (the FB friend) was going to be judging one of the trail courses at the wild horse expo, and...quite innocently enough asked her if she was perchance thinking of bringing Eagle along.  And, she sent me an e-mail that stated that yes, she would bring Eagle with me in mind.  My heart started beating madly...and guess what!!?? 

I met him, I got to spend time with him, and I got to show him in-hand at the expo!!!!

I'm quite madly head-over-heels, in love with this horse!!!!

Right from the first, if you'd have asked me just what exactly that it was that had me so smitten with this particular bay horse...I'd have probably said, "something in his eyes, his expression"...and that's still the case.  I believe this horse is an old soul, a true gentleman and oh so very, very kind.  I get all emotional and my eyes tear up just looking at him and being near him.  I think he wants to please, feel safe, and be loved...and that's it. 

I'm a goner.

And then I find out he's led a very sad life.  He wasn't loved or valued at all.  He's got whip marks on his body.  Apparently, he was captured as a 2-3 year old in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area of central Oregon.  He was adopted through BLM to someone in the Roseburg, Oregon area.  Apparently, he was beaten, and it was savagely enough that at 11 years of age, the scars are still evident.  Bloody hell!!!!!  I can't even imagine...and as if that weren't enough; his owners were what Kate refers to as "dopers" who then sold him to the Winston Wildlife Safari to be used as cat meat.  Wow...thankfully, someone with a kind heart at the safari made a phone call to someone in the Strawberry Mountain Horse Rescue and said they had a horse there, who was obviously too nice of a horse to be cut up and fed to the wild cats.  That person came and picked Eagle up, and that's how he ended up with the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coallition and owned by my friend, Kate.  Long story, short...before long, I will more than likely be the very proud new mom and forever caretaker of the magnificent "Eagle". 

The beginning...

**happy dance***

:)   Cingspots 

You just never know where life will lead...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sum sum summertime

...and the livin' is easy...NOT!!!!  Wow, have we been busy.  I always dream of more downtime, less "to-do's" and more socializing, soaking and sipping.  But - whatever - that's my life!  I'm not complaining, well maybe a little.  :)  It's been almost a month since my last blog post, and there's more to update than I can possibly remember.  I'll give it my best shot though...

My sis had eye surgery for the 3rd time and she's finally doing somewhat better.  They say she may always have blurry vision in that eye, but will try corrective lenses and see if that helps.  I'm just happy that she's not looking at more surgeries anytime soon. 

Ruby got spayed on June 16th and all is back to normal.  Big sigh of relief...I was quite worried about the surgery for some reason, and am thankful and relieved that she did well and is totally healed up.  I took a day off work and spent the day in Salem.  Just me and Annie puttering around, it was fun.  We went (I went) shopping for a few new summer clothes, went to Costco and stocked up on some groceries, went to a huge park and had a very long walk and even went through the massive rose garden they had there.  It was a beautiful day and I really luxuriated in having a day off work mid-week.  Felt like a stolen day...loved it!!  It would have been positively perfect had I not been worried about poor, little Ruby.  But, I said my prayers for her protection and left it in God's hands.  Always helps!!

My hubby and I took a week off from work the last week of June and over the 4th of July weekend.  10 days off in a row.  Sounds like a long time, but it sure did go fast.  We had our grandson, David the entire time.  We are definitely not accustomed to having a child around for that length of time.  Parts were enjoyable and parts were intolerable, but all-in-all, it went fairly well.  I'm very glad that grandpa got to spend some quality time with his grandson.  David loves being around the horses!  He's an animal lover at heart, and that's wonderful and quite helpful being at our place.  We have cats, dogs, horses and the llama.  Dave got to ride Siri a few times, brush her and he loved that, so did Siri.  We spent a day at the beach, went out for seafood dinner, had a long walk on the beach and gathered seashells.  We spent another day at the lake, swimming and hiking.  It was fun, but I found myself wishing we'd had a boat.  There were soooo many people there and I missed the solitude that I remember from years past.  So many more people moving to our part of the state.  I don't blame them, it's a beautiful part of Oregon, but I prefer less crowds and less rules everywhere.  *sigh*  Guess I'm showing my age again...  I bought 15 lbs of sliced, fresh strawberries and made a double batch of jam.  YUM!!  I put the rest in freezer containers for using later.  $30.00 for washed, sliced berries is quite reasonable compared to the cost at the farm stands.  Everything has gotten so expensive.  But, we'll sure enjoy those berries come winter time. 

We also bought some Windsor Cottage stones and built a 14' long x 30" wide raised flower bed in the front of our house.  We made it about 16" tall, so it would be comfortable for sitting.  It turned out really nice.  I just bought a bunch of flowers for planting at the local garden store today.  I just need to pick up a load of planting soil and I'll be all set for mass plantings.  We still have enough stones to build a v-shaped raised garden bed on the other side of the house by the front door.  That one should be a quicker, easier version compared to the big one.  It's really going to add some pizazz to the landscape, and I can't wait to see the end results.  My next idea is to put up some planter window boxes under some of the windows, but that's for another time. 

We have our winter's supply of hay all neatly stored in the barn too.  Our hay was delivered last week and it took us and 2 paid helpers, 2 evenings working to finish the job.  We got about 12 tons total of new hay, and have about 2 tons left from last year.  That's considerably less than the 20 tons we put into the barns last summer, but money was a bit tighter this year so we'll just feed as long as it lasts and worry about buying more later, if and when we run short.  We more than likely will have to buy a few more tons, but I'm not going to worry about that now.  Next big project will have to be the firewood for the winter...the work just never ends, does it??  Sometimes I envy those people who live in little homes in the suburbs...they just don't realize how easy they have it, but then again, I love living on our little farm in the country with all its' privacy and peaceful surroundings.  Nothing in life is ever perfect...but it's our life and I really do love it, even if it is filled with work.  I don't have to pay for a membership in a fancy athletic club to get exercise and that's a fact! 

We had plans to go watch fireworks on the 4th of July and were in the car ready to go when our neighbors started shooting off big, loud roman candles and such...Harley freaked, started running and that was that.  We parked the car in the middle of our very long driveway and watched the illegals going off all around us and felt a measure of relief at being able to keep a watch over our little herd as well as the neighbor's 30ish head of horses as well.  What a gorgeous sight to see all the horses running together in one big herd...much more spectacular in my humble opinion than the greatest of the fireworks!!  It's all about perspective, right?  I just wish I'd have had my camera because I could have caught some fantastic shots.  I'll try and remember that for next year. 

I'm still riding Ladde and he's doing wonderfully.  I'm feeling more and more comfortable on him with each and every ride.  Lately, however our consistency's been off because of all the other projects we've had to deal with.  The weather has cooled this week and it's lovely riding weather, so I'll probably have a nice evening ride tonight.  I'm looking forward to it. 

Harley had a flare-up of his uveitis lately.  It was bi-lateral, but worse in his right (good) eye.  I managed to quiet it down very quickly, but the damage was done.  He now has cloudiness in about 1/3 to almost 1/2 of his right eye.  Prior to this outbreak, the damage to his eye had been in the anterior, or back portion of his eyes; meaning that nothing was unusual looking about his eyes.  Somehow the fact that he didn't look any different from a sighted horse was something I was thankful for, but now his eyes are starting to look more typical of a blind horse.  It breaks my heart to think that he has so little vision left.  I still cry over his situation, but bless his heart, he seems to be adjusting to his lot in life much better than I am.  I just keep praying that God will watch over him and keep him safe.  So far, so good.  I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer and am so thankful for our many blessings in life.  God is good.

Well, I've run on a lot longer than I'd meant to.  I really should try to post more often so that I'm not trying to catch up on a whole month's worth of activities.  I've got a bunch of pictures that I've taken, but never seem to take the time to download them onto a disk so that I can transfer them to this computer.  Someday, maybe I'll advance to the 21st century!  Ya think?  One can always hope...

I hope you're all enjoying our wonderful was a long time coming.  May we all savor and enjoy it while it's here!

Blessings and good-bye for now...
Cingspots aka Lorie